The Concordiensis

The consequence of exaggerated headlines in media

Emma Horowitz, Staff Writer

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Headlines read “Drinking Alcohol Causes Breast Cancer,” “One Drink A Day Will Give You Liver Disease,” or better yet, “One Glass Of Red Wine Saves Your Heart.”

The confusing spins of news articles take misconstrued scientific findings and promote the extremest mentality of modern society. The truth appears smeared among seemingly reliable sources, which acts as a dangerous provocateur of unintentional actions.

Here’s the truth, hard and real. Scientific studies have found links between alcohol and multiple forms of cancer, alongside links between alcohol and slurred speech. Hopefully, us college students can only relate to one of these harmful effects, but studies have recognized increased risk factors from alcohol to a variety of unappealing disorders.

The reason I compare these wildly different types of studies is because, like everything in life, science must be read with a critical lens. Alcohol definitely has many negative consequences which I’m afraid college students are too well aware of, but the terrifying face that newspeople give to the science behind alcohol is just improper.

While heavy alcohol consumption may play a part in breast cancer risk, heavy alcohol consumption ruins your life in a variety of ways. In truth, heavy consumption of anything, also known as addiction, is dangerous and has links to multiple health and lifestyle impairments.

The problem with these headlines lies not just in the gross over-exaggeration, but also in their power to speak to people. If John Doe reads that alcohol causes breast cancer, or liver disease, he’s likely to take extreme measures to eradicate it from his life. While not drinking alcohol is likely a benefit for him, the next headline that one glass of red wine can be beneficial, leads him not only to be confused, but likely overwhelmed. And when people get overwhelmed, they usually drop it all. So, John Doe will likely revert back to his binge drinking lifestyle and end up even more unhealthy than before.

These headlines seemingly forget to mention the less popular truths like “Genetic Factors Play the Greatest Part in Cancer Risks” or “Moderation in Diet in Lifestyle Help Decrease Cancer Risks.”

While excessive alcohol consumption is definitely not a good thing to do for your health, drinking in moderation is not a death sentence, nor destined to surely give you cancer. The question of red wine and heart health is a bit wary, but again, small doses are far from fatal.

Despite this article, news pieces with these outrageous headlines are bound to cover the news cycles time and time again. I definitely do not recommend taking the headlines for a sure thing at first glance, nor do I urge for ignoring. I simply ask for reading with a grain of salt.

While college may teach us a lot about literature, politics, or arithmetic, we should recieve equal education about the approaching world around us—part of that being reading the news mindfully and critically alongside your morning coffee.

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The consequence of exaggerated headlines in media